|PPNCG Information Pages : Video-conferencing : Desktop videoconferencing recommendations (PPNCG) : Polycom ViaVideo|
This is a USB-connected H.323 subsystem, costing around GBP400+vat. It's usable as a personal or small-group system. However, the echo-canceller is based on the built-in microphone. There are no options for external video inputs, you have to use the beast's built-in camera and microphone (or a headset).
On the other hand, it is a quite neat little beast, and because it's
USB-connected it can be easily moved between PCs: it also works well
with a suitable laptop.
|ViaVideo software versions:
Version 2.2 is quite old, but works reasonably well.
Version 3.0 is *not recommended* for use in our community. It is incompatible with the VRVS, and also has caused problems with RadVision MCUs (such as are used for the ESNet "ad hoc" H.323 service).
There does not seem to be a version 4 at all. The next version after 3.0 is 5.
Version 5 is available, and some folks have had reasonable results with it.
Some users complain bitterly about its user interface. If you thought version 2.2 was bad then you'll hate version 5.
More to the point, however, some users who have tried version 5 have had unexplained difficulties in connecting to some gatekeepers and MCUs, in ways which version 2.2 had no problem with. At the moment I'm in no position to advance any theories about why this was happening - whether user inexperience, real software incompatibilities or what.
There seems to be no provision for having more than one version of the viavideo software installed at the same time.
(And, just in case anyone is still running Windows NT/4, I should
add that whereas ViaVideo 2.2 supports NT/4 reasonably well, there
is no sign of support for NT/4 in their version 5 software.)
|There's a security alert, reference 02-002, relating to the
viavideo's web management interface.
This patch is applicable not only to version 3 software (which we don't recommend anyway, see above), but also to version 2.2.
Those of a more conservative nature might prefer to firewall port 3603.
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